Although it has some limitations, bankruptcy generally clears people of their outstanding debts. The first thing you and your Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer need to do is determine which bankruptcy chapter is right for your situation. Consider Chapter 13, which is a restructuring of your liabilities, if you have numerous assets, for example a house and regular wages. If you do not have any assets, on the other hand, or your only asset is a vehicle for which you owe little or nothing, consider filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is a full liquidation.
Here are 6 requirements for filing insolvency to help you and your Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer build a case so powerful that no matter what shape your finances are in, your petition will be successful
- Mandatory credit counseling.
If you live in Minnesota, you must get credit guidance from a government-approved within 180 days before you file for bankruptcy protection. Your counseling meeting will comprise an assessment of your individual financial state of affairs, a conversation about choices besides bankruptcy, and a special budget plan. You must get an official document as evidence that you’ve finished the necessary counseling.
- A list of bankruptcy exemptions.
Minnesota, like every other state, has its own set of exemptions that you may use when filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You may use either the Minnesota state or the federal bankruptcy list of exemptions, but you cannot mix and match from each list. Consult with your Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer to determine which set of exemptions is right for you.
- A completed Voluntary Petition for Bankruptcy.
Your Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer should have copies of this petition. Alternatively, you can download it from the US Government’s website, or get them from bankruptcy court. Once your Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer files this petition, your bankruptcy case commences. Bankruptcy Code imposes an ‘automatic stay’ once the petition is filed, and this stay prohibits collection proceedings and actions against your property.
- Documentation required by the Voluntary Petition.
The Voluntary Petition for Bankruptcy must be filed with supporting documents such as pay slips and your most recent tax returns. Supplementary documents required to be presented differ based on whether you are filing under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Your Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer will guide you on the documentation required for submission.
- The filing fee.
When you file your voluntary petition at the bankruptcy court, you’ll also be required to pay a filing fee. You’ll need to pay $25 for pre-filing credit counseling, another $25 for the pre-discharge debtor education course, and a court filing fee of $299. You can apply for a fee waiver, in which case you will not be allowed to retain a Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer to represent you.
- Pre-discharge debtor education course.
This course may not be taken together with the mandatory credit counseling course – it must be done separately. The former must be taken prior to your filing for bankruptcy, while the latter is done after filing. Any debtor education course you take must be administered by an official Minnesota provider and should contain information on managing cash, developing a financial plan, and using credit and other resources prudently.
It is advisable that you have your Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer help you with preparing your Voluntary Petition for Bankruptcy. Be wary of bankruptcy petition preparers who will just type information on the bankruptcy forms, and who are barred by law from providing legal advice – they cannot give details on how to respond to legal questions or help you in bankruptcy court.
Six Must Haves that will Enable your Minnesota Bankruptcy La